A better bus took me to Chelmsford, one of the dullest towns known to man. The main street has been pedestrianised and today contained several stall offering the usual fruit and veg, bread, cakes and stuff. None offered coffee funnily enough but 'Costa' cafes appeared every few minutes. Another wasted search for that jacket, although I did find a chap with a similar search to me. Neither of us have been satisfied by the major stores.
Coffee was provided, for £1, at the excellent stall in the Market however. Not as good as the Colchester chap but better than overpriced 'Costa!' I prefer such places as this.
It is of course the panel on the right indicates Chelmsford Council however I canny find any information on the building and at the moment have too little time to search. Quite why a rams head, if indeed it is that, sits above the letters I know not, there again there is no reason for another ram or what might be a vulture above the date 1929. That was of course the year of the Wall Street crash so I hope the builders were paid before people started to throw themselves from 67th floor windows. I checked the pavements round about but they were no worse than normal.
Along the old canal I wandered, strengthened by the coffee and discovered 'Boris the Spider' hard at work under the road bridge. My knowledge of such beasties is somewhat limited, usually limited to crying "AAAARGGGH!" and running away, so I am not clear as to the real name of this one. I have seen lots of these around here and usually have a couple on the windows living of other beasties. You can keep this one if you like....
I am much happier disappointing the ducks by not feeding them. This lot were ganging up to threaten a toddler for his lunch just before I arrived. Once he had been deprived they looked for other mugs. I never expected to find a large pond in this area. An excellent feature and much more interesting, when the sun shines, than the High Street and its crowded shops. In Primark, a place I never entered before, I discovered an imitation Harris Tweed like jacket for £28. Not far away a similar jacket, made with slightly better 'Tweed,' cost more than twice as much at a 'reduced ' price. It crossed my mind that the same sweatshop slave earned fourpence for making both.
Running across the top of the park lies the Liverpool Street Railway. High above on this excellent viuduct the trains run several minutes late regularly, especially at rush hour when people jump in front of them or lorry drives crash into the weaker bridges! It was not possible to get the whole thing into a photo, it continues behind and into the distance, but the number of bricks is very impressive and a credit to the men who erected in during Victoria's reign.
As I said goodbye to the ducks that followed in a forlorn manner I headed back towards the bus station grasping my Free Bus Pass tightly in my hand. However I was distracted by a statue in the distance that at first I thought referred to the Theatre that stands nearby.
With the light right behind the poor souls head it merely leaves him a dark silhouette but this man holding the 'lightning flash' in one hand and what looks like an old fashioned phone in the other is Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of 'wireless.' He in fact was not the actual inventor but he did play a serious development role and created a successful factory in the town that survived until recently. It may still be found as part of GEC, if that has not died also. You may recall him as the chap who sent a wireless signal across the Atlantic to Newfoundland, in spite of opposition from the men running the Telegraph system!
Naturally I missed the bus! As I approached I noticed the bus maneuvering about in a tight space. Quick thinking, and a fast walk against my will, took me around the corner to the next stop which I reached, puggled, by the time the driver had made it past the traffic lights. I was quite proud of my quick thinking. I could tell by his snigger the driver had watched my attempt at speed and did not mistake me for that Bolt fellow.
I snatched this picture of the 'St Annes Castle' as we sped along because I noticed the sign on the other wall claiming that this was 'The Oldest Inn in England,' with a date that I think may have been possibly 1171. I began to wonder how many other 'Oldest' Inns there may be, there is always a pub claiming to be the 'Smallest,' and how many can claim 'Elizabeth Ist Stayed Here!' Claims such as these have limited evidence but one of the must be right. Inns such as this, on a road probably going back long before Roman times, must have carried many travellers requiring sustenance, so it is possible it was around a thousand years ago. Here is the pubs own information regarding its age. The place is mentioned in the Domesday Book, which you will recall, though not from personal experience, was written in 1086. I may go down there to check it out one day myself....